National consensus is that the BCS is dumb, it gives us an unworthy champion, and that a playoff is the only logical way to decide a champion. Hell, even Congress has been throwing in their two cents. The argument against a playoff usually boils down to a tradition based argument, that the bowl system is too ingrained in the culture to be challenged or changed.
Both positions are, to be put lightly, bullshit.
The BCS is the natural evolution of the long-held bowl system, a marriage of human opinions (some of which suck badly) and computers (which do pretty good, despite my inherent distrust) (seriously, watch that video, and try to sleep tonight. Slap some basic targeting systems and a minigun on that thing, and good luck kids. Wait, where was I?). What more can you really ask for out of a system? It takes what worked in the past (polling) and utilizes available technology (moreso than baseball) to give the best match up. The best evidence?
Of the 12 games that have crowned a national champ in the BCS era, 6 have involved SEC teams.
Personal bias aside, 5 of those SEC teams won the game (and Alabama is favored by 4.5), and I think the results speak for themselves. People point to years like this, and say this is definitive need for a playoff. Why? How would you decide who gets in and who gets Boise Stated? You're left in the same place, but at the cost of other bowls.
But Daniel, the other bowls don't matter anyway!
Tell that to the UConn team that overcame the heartbreaking death of a teammate to get to play on January 2nd or to Joey Harrington who parlayed one good bowl game into a career that went way too long. These bowls matter to most teams, as the opportunity to be nationally televised is a recruiting boost, allowing a program to be seen by potential recruits all over the country. Sure, there is the occasional team that couldn't care about the game, and mails it in (see Alabama, 2009 Sugar Bowl), but for the majority of teams, these games are paid advertisements, and a good performance matters. Plus, for certain other players who just won't go away, this is a great chance to make an impression on NFL front office people who will decide your fate come Draft Day.
But you know what the best thing about the BCS and the bowl system is? Better than the opportunity to end your season with a win? Better than showing the country (or other countries) your school exists? Better than getting a large contract? It creates more discourse, more arguments, and more passion than anything else in sports. The controversy alone has propelled NCAA Football into that rarefied air, usually reserved for the Shield and nothing else. Even the National Football League (what up Gruden!) has to marvel at college football's ability to capture hearts and minds year round (and if you think the NFL doesn't benefit, you're NUTS). I was debating this point with someone this past summer, and they argued what the whole benefit of the BCS is to the fan, what makes it attractive to those of us who want a definitive answer, what does it offer us?
We were arguing about college football at a wedding in June. What more do you want?
I'm returning to the blog by discussing the weird happenings over the 3 months I've been away. NFL and NCAA Football are done, NBA, you're next.